Views: Galerie d’Apollon In The Louvre Museum, Paris

King Louis XIV famously identified himself with the sun god Apollo and this splendid gallery was the first tangible representation of that image. To create this masterpiece of architectural decoration, he summoned the greatest painters, gilders and sculptors of the day, who later worked on the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles. Today, the Galerie d’Apollon is home to the royal collection of hardstone vessels and the French Crown Jewels.

The French Crown Jewels

The royal collection also includes the Crown Jewels. The so-called ‘Côte de Bretagne’ spinel, which once belonged to Anne de Bretagne, is the oldest of the gems to have survived a tumultuous history involving theft, dispersal and sale. Three historical diamonds – the Regent, the Sancy and the Hortensia – formerly adorned royal crowns or garments. The spectacular 19th-century jewellery sets in the collection include emerald and diamond pieces that once belonged to Empress Marie Louise.

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The French Crown Jewels

The 60-meter-long Apollo Gallery contains 105 extraordinary pieces, the most famous being the Crown Jewels of France. “This generic term covers not just the jewels that belonged to the kings of France but all the regalia as well: the precious stones and glyptic pieces,” says Pierre Rainero, director of style and heritage with the jeweler Cartier, which has sponsored the renovation work.

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